We continue to read about the El Niño weather pattern and the possibility of a very wet winter. For many of us, a wet winter is an answer to our prayers. However, the West Coast could be in for more rain than we are prepared to handle. Planning for a wet winter now may provide relief for what may or may not come. There are many factors to consider; below is a quick list to get you started:
1 – Auto Care
We drive a lot in California. If you’ve been thinking about replacing your vehicles tires, do so now. According to Consumer Reports, tires can lose their footing long before they're worn out. If you’re unsure of the signs of a worn tire, consider visiting a reliable tire store for their professional opinion. While you’re there, consider checking your windshield wipers – chances are they’re in worse condition than your tires!
2 – Clothing
A lightweight jacket is the ideal companion for a warm rainy day. It doesn't have to be waterproof, but it should be made from a fabric that dries relatively quickly. Also, take out your umbrellas now… chances are they haven’t been used in a while — if they need replacing, you’ll have a much better selection now than when the rain starts falling. Rain boots may not always be in fashion; however, you may want to pick a pair to be safe.
3- Flood Insurance
All it takes is a few inches of water to cause major damage to your home and its contents. According to FloodSmart.Gov, the official site of the National Flood Insurance Program, backed-up storm drains or saturated ground can cause significant, widespread floods during heavy rain. They recommend that you:
- Review your current homeowners insurance policy and become familiar with what is and isn’t covered, as damage due to flooding is typically not covered.
- Call your insurance agent to purchase flood insurance for your home (and business) and its contents.
- Make a flood plan and plan evacuation routes.
- Itemize and take pictures of possessions.
- Keep valuable items and family heirlooms on the upper floors of your home or building.
- To learn more about flood risks associated with heavy rains, download this fact sheet.
Reza Shah, President of Zuk Insurance Services adds, "Unfortunately, many people are under the impression that their homeowners policy covers flood damage. The standard policy does not, nor does a standard umbrella policy. The standard homeowners policy also does not cover earthquakes. So a homeowner wanting coverage for either of those disasters will need to pick up separate, specific policies against those types of disasters.“
Reza Shah can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org